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Young Woman Pursues College Internship to Give Back to Kids in Foster Care

January 12, 2017

Impact Stories

“The American Dream Program scholarship made my dream of college a reality and whenever I need any advice, there’s someone there for me,” noted Shantel, referring to the close-knit HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services Youth Development team that is readily accessible to scholars in need of academic, career and personal advice, even when they are away at school. Shantel, who hopes to major in business and minor in communications, finished her freshman year at Lincoln University in Philadelphia with a GPA of 3.8. Shantel also has made herself indispensable to her school community as a member of the Horace Mann Bond Honors Program and Executive Board Treasurer for Residential Life. Shantel made the most of the summer before her sophomore year, taking classes in mathematics and economics, as well as interning for New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services. “It’s an amazing opportunity,” gushed Shantel. On the job at ACS, Shantal, who has experienced foster care herself, has deep empathy for the children and families served by the city agency.

Many young people in foster care are unable to break through the cycle of poverty, possibly experiencing homelessness, incarceration and unemployment. With a scholarship and nurturing support network, like the one at HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services, the young men and women in care make positive connections, expand their experiences and achieve their dreams. The American Dream Program, established in 1997, utilizes the determination and talents of young people, like Shantel, to bring them one step forward towards the future they always dreamed of. “You can become who you want to be. The success is all yours and no one can take it away from you,” Shantel declared.